The Extended Essay
Each student has the opportunity to investigate a topic of special interest. The essay requirement acquaints diploma candidates with the kind of independent research and writing skills expected by universities.
The IBO recommends that a student devote a total of about 40 hours of private study and writing time to the essay of 4,000 words, which may be written in one of 60 subjects.
The essay permits students to deepen their programs of study, for example by selecting a topic in one of their higher level (HL) courses. Or they might add breadth to their academic experience by electing to write in a subject not included in their program choices. Students will work with an advisor in selecting a topic. Advisors will help students develop a research plan and stay on schedule to complete the paper with all required parts by the deadline.